12/06/2012 4:21PM

Tattersalls: Breeding stock sale declines, but overall December series shows gains

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The Tattersalls auction house in Newmarket, England, wrapped up its December breeding stock sale Thursday with declines in total sales, average, and median. But the wider December sale series, which also included yearling and foal auctions, ended with gains overall.

Topped by the $2,873,850 sale of Twyla Tharp, dam of 2012 European champion 3-year-old filly The Fugue, the auction’s four breeding stock sessions sold 762 horses for about $74,267,384, posting an average price of about $97,464 and a $9,200 median. Compared year-to-year in the auction currency of guineas, total sales sagged slightly, ending less than 1 percent below last year’s aggregate for 629 horses. Average price suffered a more significant drop at 18 percent, and median fell 10 percent. But the buyback rate improved to 19 percent, down from 27 percent.

The breeding stock sales also wrapped up the Tattersalls December sale series that started with a yearling session and included a foal sale. All told, the yearling, foal, and breeding stock auction series sold 1,637 horses, up from 1,398 last season. Total sales of about $121,141,568 rose 29 percent. Average price, about $74,000, was up 10 percent, and the $32,120 median gained 12 percent. The overall buyback rate of 19 percent was down from last year’s 26 percent.

Nicolas de Watrigant’s French-based Mandore International Agency represented an unidentified client to buy sale-topper Twyla Tharp for 1.7 million guineas. Ireland’s Kiltinan Castle Stud consigned the 10-year-old Sadler’s Wells mare, who was offered in foal to Oasis Dream. She was one of three mares to bring seven figures at the auction.

The others were five-time group winner Banimpire, a broodmare prospect for whom Reiley McDonald bid 1.5 million guineas, or about $2,535,750. McDonald bought the 4-year-old Holy Roman Emperor filly in the name of his Eaton Sales agency and also declined to identify his client. Coolmore Stud bought the auction’s other millionaire, paying 1 million guineas (about $1,690,500) for Blue Symphony, the dam of Grade/Group 3 winners Fantasia and Pink Symphony; the 12-year-old Darshaan mare is in foal to Dubawi.

Thursday’s final session peaked on Brook Stud’s $177,503 bid for Despatch, a 3-year-old Nayef filly who is a half-sister to three stakes winners, most notably the group-winning Plea Bargain and Lay Time. The final session posted a robust 60 percent gain in total sales of $2,337,319, with average rising 14 percent and median 33 percent.